Our area's Underground Railroad connection
You might ask, “What does this have to do with Key Biscayne history?”
Art Yerian, the new Manager of Bill Baggs Cape Florida State Park on Key Biscayne commented, “Not many may realize that our State Park is designated as one of the earliest Underground Railroad Stations in the nation by the National Park Service for its historic NPS Underground Railroad Network to Freedom Project,” he said, adding “That acknowledgement in 2004 was before my time here, so I’m excited to attend this coming commemorative event with everybody else to learn more about Florida’s fugitive slaves and Seminole Blacks who fled from our beaches to freedom in the 1820s.”
Co-chair for the event and the Founder of the Florida Underground Railroad Project [FURP], Kristopher Smith has said, “Through the individual presentations and panel discussion in “The Florida Underground Railroad and Its Legacy: Linking the Past to the Future,” we will tell about the early Freedom Seekers who arrived on Key Biscayne seeking passage across the Gulfstream to freedom in the Bahamas, Cuba, Haiti and the Caribbean. We will recognize others whose work continued the legacy and we will share transformational stories that may resonate in today’s world.”
Joan Gill Blank, co-chair and KBHH member, said the event will address and bring to life the meaning and historic role of the UGRR and the Abolitionist Movement—sometimes called the first Civil Rights Movement—as it relates to American and Florida history, past and present. “Exploring history can often offer insights to contemporary situations,” she said, and continued, “Might our deeper understanding of the UGRR provide a model for working together in our communities, and across borders?”
Please join the KBHH Society at the Community Center for a Public Reception to kick off the event at 6 pm on January 22. During the reception, meet and mingle with the distinguished speakers and guests, view informative displays and video and enjoy refreshments including spirits. Presentations begin at 7 pm.
For questions or sponsorship opportunities, please contact The Key Biscayne Community Foundation: 305-361-2770 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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